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U.S. Conducted 2 nd and 3 rd Subcritical Nuclear Experiment under Obama … who expressed in Prague in April 2009 his commitment 'to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’ NuclearCrimes.org July 2011
Subcritical Nuclear Experiments (SNEs) <ul><li>Subcritical experiment program announced by U.S. Energy Department in October 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>First ‘subcrit’ conducted in 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>Subcrits entail underground detonations of high explosives and small amounts of plutonium </li></ul><ul><li>No ‘chain reaction’ is sustained, although some fissioning of plutonium occurs </li></ul><ul><li>There have been 26 subcritical experiments through present </li></ul>
SNEs – zero-yield tests at low-yield facility? <ul><li>Subcrits are conducted nearly 1,000 feet underground at former LYNER facility – now named the U1a facility - at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), the former Nevada Test Site </li></ul><ul><li>LYNER stands for Low-Yield Nuclear Experimental Research </li></ul><ul><li>Subcrits are considered ‘zero-yield’ experiments but technically involve a very, very small ‘nuclear energy release’… and subcrits aren’t subject to international verification </li></ul>
SNEs – The Courtesy Gesture <ul><li>In 1997 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiated a courtesy protocol of giving a 48 hour notice, via press release, before each subcritical test </li></ul><ul><li>For example, the Aug. 28, 2006 issue of the Las Vegas Sun carried an article titled ‘U.S. to conduct non-nuclear experiment at Nevada Test Site’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Article excerpt “The planned test, scheduled Wednesday, would be the 23rd subcritical experiment since 1997 at the 1,375-square-mile federal reservation 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas.” </li></ul></ul>
SNE – So long courtesy gesture! <ul><li>DOE dispensed with 48 hour notice courtesy in September 2010, when it issued a press release on Sept. 16, 2010, the day after the 24 th subcritical experiment dubbed ‘Bacchus’ </li></ul><ul><li>DOE issued a “quarterly report” (PDF file) in June 2011 indicating – in a tiny table – that it held two more subcrits after Bacchus (in December ’10 and February ‘11): </li></ul>
SNEs – Three Lumps or One? <ul><li>Bacchus was the first of three planned subcritical tests </li></ul><ul><li>Although the other two subcrits (previously given the names ‘Barolo A’ and ‘Barolo B’) were part of the ‘Bacchus series’ that doesn’t give the DOE the right to treat 3 subcrits as a single ‘lumped experiment’ </li></ul><ul><li>Barolo A and B were conducted on December 1, 2010 and February 2, 2011, respectively (source: Kyodo News) </li></ul>
SNEs – A Very Delayed Matter <ul><li>DOE’s 3-page ‘quarterly report’ was released in June, not accompanied by any press release, didn’t mention names of the tests </li></ul><ul><li>The story about Barolo A and B was only addressed in the Japanese media - in mid-July; the Western media hasn’t picked up the story </li></ul><ul><li>DOE’s lack of respect for the sensitivity of peace groups and other nations to these provocative experiments amounts to a blatantly offensive act </li></ul>
SNE – OUTRAGE! <ul><li>Letter of Protest from Mayors For Peace, July 20, 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>‘… these tests have aroused profound suspicion regarding your intentions and have betrayed the hopes of the hibakusha and the millions of others who seek a nuclear-weapon-free world…this testing of weapons is utterly unacceptable..." </li></ul>
SNE – Implications of DOE PR decision <ul><li>Why has U.S. DOE fully mothballed its own 48 hour advance notice courtesy gesture for subcritical nuclear experiments? </li></ul><ul><li>How sure can we be that if the DOE’s actions are replicated by India or North Korea that spiraling global fears that a small nuclear test was carried out won’t instigate a new arms race ? </li></ul><ul><li>The DOE is setting a highly dangerous precedent with its subcritical tests, which threaten world peace </li></ul>